The Leadership of Unifor Local 88 wishes the membership & their families, along with the surrounding community a Merry Christmas, A Joyful Holiday Season and a New Year filled with happiness.

As we close out this year and look back on the last 12 months I believe it can be summed up in a couple of words “Very Challenging”.

This year we have seen over 680 member’s jobs eliminated through closures and lay-offs. With the announcement of the GMC Terrain moving to Mexico and the Chevrolet Equinox being built at 3 locations for the North American market there was over 600 jobs lost at GM CAMI, with the closure of 2 Doug Coleman Trucking terminals (St. Thomas and Owen Sound) there was over 50 jobs lost and with the production decrease at GM CAMI, Doug Coleman Trucking Ingersoll saw 37 jobs lost. As a local union we were able to secure early retirements, severance monies and other programs to soften the landing for the affected members. We hope to see all members with recall rights back into their respective workplaces in the future. On behalf of the entire membership I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

On a bright note our local union was successful with the certification of the dispatchers working at Doug Coleman Trucking Ingersoll, Welcome to Unifor Local 88.

Our Retired Workers Chapter has grown significantly this year to over 430 members and 2018 could see this number increase as well, as members working at GM CAMI reach 30 years. For those members that retired in 2017 the membership wishes you many years of retirement living and good health. You all deserve it.

We concluded 2 sets of negotiations this year. Both were interesting.

The first with DCT Ingersoll in February after the first tentative agreement was rejected in January. During these negotiations we gained wage improvements, reduced health care premiums, obtained pay lunch periods and improved contract language, along with other improvements.

The second set of negotiations with GM were difficult. But with the courage and the solidarity of the entire membership we endure a 4-week strike that made gains around contract language, economics and job security. Although we did not end up with the lead producer letter that we had envisioned, we did secure new programs and have made it extremely expensive for GM to move production and layoff members.

At AWC, the yard has slowed a little with the shipping of all units made at the GM CAMI plant, members continue to work some 7-day weeks. There are no layoffs. In August 2018 the current collective agreement expires. We will begin to prepare for these negotiations in the Spring of 2018.

On December 13, 2017 we celebrated 29 years as Unifor Local 88.

We should also be very proud of our involvement in the community over the past year with our volunteer activities and donations to great organizations such as United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Fusion Youth Centre, DASO, Ingamo Homes to name a few we have made a difference.

As the president of Unifor Local 88 I want to say that I am very proud of the entire membership for their contributions and commitment to the communities in which we live.

The membership numbers have decreased this past year to 3,393 with 2,511 active, 432 retired and 450 laid off.

As with each year that has past, the year 2018 is certain to be very busy and full of similar and new challenges. We will work through these obstacles in the upcoming year together as one.

In 2018 we will hold our local union triennial elections. There will be provincial and municipal elections.

The year 2018 is certain to be very busy and full of tests, I am sure with the solidarity and resilience of the membership we will come out on top.

On behalf of the leadership of Unifor Local 88; I would like to wish all of you and your families a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Safe & Prosperous New Year. Spend some much deserved time off with your friends and families, play safe!